Former state Rep. Roger Byrd pleaded guilty Aug. 18 to two counts of theft by taking and was ordered to pay $210,000 in restitution. Byrd got 20 years on probation, but no prison time if he repays the money within 30 months. (If not, he would go to prison for 4 1/2 to 5 years.) Prosecutors said Byrd took $100,000 from the Jeff Davis County Development Authority and another $100,000 from a relocated manufacturer that folded after less than a year, leaving the authority mre than $2 million in debt.
The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday that DeKalb County’s development authority needs voter approval to sell bonds to pay off debt on a new performing arts center. But the impact of the decision could be much broader, requiring a public referendum for virtually any bond issue, including a controversial proposal to help the Sembler Co. complete its Town of Brookhaven mixed-use project with tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks.
Atlanta’s BeltLine redevelopment project may be about to short an affordable housing fund by more than $9 million, a citizen oversight group says. And, members of the citizen advisory committee contend, the BeltLine leadership isn’t sharing information early or often enough for them to know how well the $2.8 billion endeavor is proceeding.